I have tried to write this piece a few times but it has never felt right but this time it has made it past the editor (me). When I checked my baggage into T1 Sydney Airport on 10th June for my flight to Thailand I was surprised that it only weighed around 16kg and taking into account that I have in there at least 500g worth of washing powder to hopefully sustain me through the rest of the trip. I have seen other travellers with what looks like up to 50kg of stuff and I wonder how they feel about carrying that with them.
Over the past 6 years or so I have tried to keep my personal baggage down to a minimum. When my relationship with SJ ended I moved from a two bedroom house into a bedroom and I am sure that K & G remember just how much stuff I carted up those 3 flights of stairs to the room and how much I stuffed into that tiny room and even put some stuff up in their attic. Since this moment I have been on a bit of a quest to run a minimal life and to do so I have sold, given away, thrown away and recycled as much as I could to try and make my next move very minimal and I think I have done well. With every house I have moved into I am sure there has been less to pack and less to unpack and less to carry, in fact all my stuff is currently in a small storage cupboard in South East London and I was impressed with myself to get everything I own in there.
But I have not just concentrated on physical baggage, emotional has also had a really big part to play too. I know in the long term relationship I had I took on way too much responsibility and in fact I tried to deal with my partners emotional baggage as well as my own. I realised after we split up just how much of me I had put into it because I had virtually nothing left for myself. It took me a couple of years to not only repair some of the damage I had done but also learn a few new things about emotional baggage. Ever since I remember I have tried to help people out and I did as much as I could to help support them which meant to me that I would try and take on their problems. I think that it’s great that I have been able to shed this a little and I have done so by assessing it in virtually the same way as I do with the physical baggage.
My rough rule for physical baggage is if I don’t use the item within a period of six months then it’s highly likely that I don’t need it and then I begin to think about removing it, for me this normally works really well apart from the odd thing (like some vinyl records I have not used for probably more than 2 years and still not got rid of). When it comes to emotional baggage I have started to think of just how much I can actually help the given situation and how much of that situation I need to take responsibility of. This is trying to reverse a natural reaction that has been with me since I don’t know when and it’s going to take a long time to change but I can feel it happening so the 16kg I am carrying with me also sort of represents my emotional baggage and it is a constant reminder not to take on more than I can carry.